February 9 – 13
7:00 pm Nightly
1:30 pm Sunday Matinee
2023 ‧ Comedy/Drama
14A — 1h 57m
Smart, funny, and poignant, American Fiction will make you laugh as often as it makes you think. It’s an excellent platform for a rightly celebrated actor, and a comment on Black American artistry that you sense will be relevant for years to come. Jeffrey Wright is brilliant as a classic frustrated artist, who writes literary stories that he wants to see in the world. He’s not interested in race, or at least the kind of “Black misery porn” stories that seem to be omnipresent, whether it’s in the Black history month advertisement on television with images of addicts and slaves, or at a book convention.
When Monk attends literary festivals or peruses the aisles of a bookstore, he finds that the latest Black bestseller is a novel called We’s Lives in Da Ghetto by Sintara Golden (Issa Rae). Enraged by this most recent crowning of a mediocre work, Monk decides to write his own novel about the “Black experience.” His characters come to life during his late-night, alcohol-suffused draft process in a gratifying scene that captures a writer’s immersive, all-consuming relationship to work. It’s a funny, touching portrait of a man attempting to fine-tune his connection to the world.
American Fiction is smart and, thanks to its fine cast, has genuine heart. Wright plays Monk, a figure so absorbed in how the world perceives him that he forgets to see what’s right in front of him, with an understated tenderness. The film suggests that the existential crisis of the Black artist is kind of an impossible problem to overcome. Often laugh-out-loud funny, it shines a light on the ridiculous knot the entertainment industry gets itself in, in a bid to be inclusive and not offend while doing the complete opposite. American Fiction is a funny, heartwarming tale that holds a mirror up to its viewers – a well-deserved best picture contender.
Jeffrey Wright, Sterling K. Brown, Issa Rae and Erika Alexander, and a string of cheeky cameos